RSS

Healing and Destruction: Two Sides of the Same Coin

When I was younger, I wanted to be a veterinarian. I loved animals, and I thought it would be a nice idea to help heal and save the animals that I loved. That is until I realized that in order to be a vet, you must be willing and able to also kill animals when treatment was not available or working. And with the mention of that, I decided the profession was not for me. Life’s funny like that, because despite my best efforts to move away from death and destruction, my life Over There landed me neck deep in both. Over the years I have made a lot of vague passing comments about the nature of my life Over There, but I’ve never really gone into any amount of depth or detail regarding the work I do. As with most everything I do, this has been done on purpose, as I’ve always felt that talking about it would result in one of two things: people looking at me like I’ve lost my marbles while they whisper “special snowflake” to their closest friends, or people looking at me with horror while they call me a monster. Both options lead to suck so I’ve never bothered.

However, recent discussions about the nature of ma’at and the nature of the gods has led me to decide to finally open up about some of what I do Over There. I guess we can consider it getting an early start to the work Set has laid out for me this year.

Usually when I sum up my work Over There, I de-fang and sterilize everything down to “I heal and destroy”. It sounds pretty simple and straightforward, but it’s honestly anything but. I’ve noticed over the years that many people seem to have troubles understanding how these two things can live so closely together, as seen by goddesses such as Sekhmet. However, let me assure you that the two are opposite sides of the same coin, as with the veterinarian mentioned above. In order to be able to heal, you must also be adept at being able to kill, and one can easily lead into the other.

I never expected to end up in this role, and taking up this sort of “work” happened very organically- at least on my end. I still can’t tell if Set and Osiris came to me because they foresaw what I was capable of doing, or if this is all just icing on top of their already made cake. At first I tried to escape the role that lay before me. However, the more I ran, the faster it caught up with me, and eventually I ended up embracing what was laying at my feet. Anything else resulted in more discomfort. Sometimes it’s easier to find solace in what you are than to continually deny what is written in front of your face.

Much like with my gods where Set came first and Osiris followed, my work started with destruction and I didn’t learn some of the finer points of healing until much later. Destruction came very easily to me from a very early point in my astral work. This is mainly due to my ability to access the deeper points of people Over There. I don’t even have to really try, and I can fall into some of the deepest darkest parts of a person or a plane (because planes can have embodiments and cores, just as humanesque entities do), places where it’s very easy to do damage. Waking up neck deep in astral fuckery meant that I had to kill sometimes in order to survive. Sometimes I needed to destroy a place, person, or item in order to get away and restore some semblance of balance or totality to my existence. Destruction was very necessary when I first started out. I had to clear out the wreckage of my house in order to actually address the foundations below.

The need to heal people was pretty quick to follow, though. Turns out that when you’re popping up in these horrible places to collect parts of yourself, you often find other people who are just as screwed up as you are. I found myself wanting to help these people, and wanting to help heal them as best as I could. I also think that I secretly hoped that I would be able to avoid killing things because healing them was the solution to everything. I didn’t realize at the time that this isn’t really the case- healing is not always a solution, nor is it always the best solution.

Shortly after, Osiris began to teach me how to use the river to heal myself and others as well. We’d branch from using my particular river to using vats of water in general. I learned various methods of picking nasty bits out of people’s energy lines, and I began to work on learning how to heal cores and core spirits. I felt as though I might have found a solution to everything- I would heal whatever I came across instead of killing it.

The problem is, healing doesn’t really work that way.

Death and destruction are part of a healer’s arsenal. When someone from Over There opens up their proverbial medical bag, death and destruction are one of the first things to be pulled out. The first method that Osiris showed me, after all, involved drowning in order to facilitate the ability to heal. It doesn’t get much more morbid than that.

And even if you’re not using death or destruction to heal, sometimes killing is still an unavoidable side effect. Sometimes you work your ass off trying to heal someone, and the healing still does not stick. The healing doesn’t work because the person isn’t ready, or in some cases, the person doesn’t even want to be healed anymore. I had a man that I ended up calling Waffles because he kept waffling in his healing so much. Some weeks he wanted to live and wanted to stay with me forever. And then other weeks he’d withdraw entirely, and wish for death.

Eventually, the death won out. Part of being the healer is being able to put someone out of their misery if you need to (or if they want it). Another part of being a healer is being able to put someone down if they are becoming a serious danger to you or others. Sometimes death is the best way to facilitate the healing. And of course, we can’t forget the other popular end result- which is when the healing works out so well that the person passes on by their own choice, leaving you with a surprisingly empty room one morning. All of these results are not only possible, but common when it comes to healing Over There.

To bring this into a more mundane aspect, you can even see destruction in the healing we perform here on Earth. Ever taken antibiotics? That involves killing bacteria in your system in order to get better. Destruction facilitates the restoration of balance within your system. Destruction can sometimes lead to ma’at – which is exactly why we have less than peaceful deities in our pantheon. Sometimes peace and passivity are not the answer.

And perhaps that is why I have ended up with the selection of gods that I have. Set’s destruction and Osiris’ passivity give me the best of both worlds, and in many ways both of their tasks fall into the same category: healing, or the restoration of balance for a person, plane, or realm. Sometimes killing and death are required in order to restore that balance. Sometimes good old fashioned nurturing and healing are required to restore the balance. Sometimes you need both in equal measure.

I was once hopeful that I could use all of what I have learned regarding healing to wipe away all of the red on my hands from everything I have destroyed or killed. But since then I have learned that healing doesn’t wipe the red away. It simply adds to the richness of the color. Life without death does not exist, nor does healing exist without destruction, as both are inseparably linked.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Revisiting “Working With”

One of the first posts I had ever written on this blog discussed my thoughts about using the phrase “I work with XYZ deity”. Since then, I have seen many many posts across the entire Internet about the many supposed problems and short comings of using this phrase. Because my horizons have expanded a little since 2012, I thought it might be worthwhile to revisit this topic and freshen it up a bit.

The biggest reasons that I often see people use for why you should never say “I work with my god” is because people are assuming a few things about the relationship:

  1. that you view your deity like a tool that is to be used and then discarded
  2. that you view yourself on the same level as the deity (sometimes labeled as hubris)
  3. that you have no respect for your god

Now I have to admit that I’ve never entirely understood most of these “arguments” against the “I work with XYZ deity” phrase. I feel that many of these arguments have excessive baggage tied to them that shouldn’t necessarily be there. This becomes obvious when you compare the different uses and applications of the phrase “I work with” in a non-religious context. If you’re reading this and you’ve ever held down a job, you’ll likely know what I mean.

Ever run into a coworker outside of the workplace, and tell someone “Oh yeah, that’s XYZ person, I work with them”?

And when you said that, were you being disrespectful to them? Did you consider them a tool or item in that moment? Did you have any baggage or implications at all in that statement beyond “we perform tasks for the same company”?

I would put my money that most of us don’t have any ulterior motive when we are referring to people we work with in our day job. And when the statement is made, usually no one jumps to the conclusions that you were being disrespectful to your coworker.

And why is that? Why is it that we can say “I work with that person, they’re in accounting” and everyone is alright, but if you say “I work with that deity, they have taught me a lot”, it’s somehow suddenly bad?

joker_meme

I know some people would retort “well the gods are above us, so you shouldn’t say that” (see number 2 above), but I really don’t see how them being “above” us negates the use of “I work with them”. To bring back the workplace comparison- in my office there are many people who outrank me. They either have seniority over me, or their position is higher on the food chain than my own. In all of these cases, I would still use “work with” to describe the relationship. I work with my supervisor to complete tasks. I work with our CEO to help determine changes within the company.

And when I say that I’m working with these people, I certainly don’t mean it disrespectfully. Quite the opposite, actually, since my supervisor has more of a direct connection to my livelihood and existence than my gods do. If I started being disrespectful to those who outrank me in the workplace, I’d find myself out of a job, and probably out on the streets. Performing tasks with another person in order to get work done shouldn’t be inherently disrespectful. If it’s not disrespectful when I say it in regards to the person who controls my paycheck, why is it disrespectful when I say it in regards to my deities?

I’m honestly still not entirely sure how working with someone equates that someone to being a tool. I work with a lot of people every day of my life. I work with people I care for and would consider a friend. I work with people I don’t particularly like. I work with people of all stripes, and I don’t view any of them as tools. I view them as people who also happen to work. People who work with me in order to complete their job and get their paycheck. No one (at least in my workplace) is considering anyone else an item, disposable or otherwise. I’m not sure why this seems to translate differently when it is a deity instead of a human being, especially since we happen to work with many people day in and day out who aren’t considered tools that are used and then discarded.

Even though my ideas regarding “working with” gods were not nearly as fleshed out back in 2012, my sentiments behind the phrase still haven’t changed a lot. I may have shifted my ideas about using the term worship in the past 3 years (I no longer equate worship with being a door mat, but it still is not accurate for my relationship with the gods, and so I don’t use it personally), but I still stand behind my original statement that using the phrase “I work with XYZ deity” is perfectly fine. And truth be told, the phrase “I work with this deity” is more accurate in describing my relationship with the gods than stating that I worship or venerate them. Most of my interactions with the gods are centered around doing work. Whether that work is over here or Over There- it’s all work related, and we rarely talk to one another unless there is work to be done.

At the end of the day, no one can dictate to another what their relationship with the gods is like. No one has the authority or right to try and tell other people what their relationships with the divine “should” be like, or how those relationships “should” be labeled. When its all said and done, you and the gods are the only ones who have any room or right to determine what terminology best suits your relationship. And if your gods are okay with the terminology you’re using, then everyone else can shove off in regards to their opinion of the matter.

Mortal-deity relationships can take many many forms, and we should strive to let our terminology reflect the forms that these differing relationships can take. Imagine the diversity we could bring into our community if we quit worrying so much about how people describe their relationship with the gods, and instead focus on what the actual content of the relationship is. The sooner we quit dictating what we feel other people’s relationships “should” be, the sooner we can begin to explore all of the forms these relationships can take, and the better off we’ll be.

Do you ever feel apprehensive about the use of the phrase “I work with XYZ deity”? If so, why? What terminology do you use to describe your relationship with the gods?

 

 
15 Comments

Posted by on February 25, 2015 in Kemeticism, Rambles

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

KRT: Flyin’ Solo

When your practice leaves the beaten path: what happens when the gods throw you for a loop? What do you do when the gods present you with a situation that doesn’t seem “normal” for a Kemetic? How do you handle things when your practice wanders off the map?

Once upon a time I was what you might consider a relatively “normal” Kemetic. My practice was more or less by the books, and there wasn’t anything overly “strange” or abnormal about how I practiced and lived Kemeticism. As someone who has lived on both sides of the “normal” divide, I have to say that the biggest problem with the idea of “normal” is that it is horribly limiting. And when the gods chuck you over the “normal” chasm and you see yourself plummeting into the Valley of Weird, you can’t help but be afraid- or at least I was- of what everyone else is thinking of you. Being thrown into the Valley of Weird is kinda like being thrown into no man’s land, and the territory can seem really hostile and daunting. The first time it was suggested to me that I should write about “not normal” stuff, I feared being ostracized and leered at by the community, and I’d put money down that anyone that has fallen into the Valley of Weird has felt the same way.

I don’t really think I realized what being thrown into the Valley was going to mean for my practice. I think that I sorta believed that I would write a few posts about this “weird’ stuff that I do, and then things would go back to normal. I thought I was going for a visit into the Valley of Weird, only to wake up and find that not only was I now stuck down there, but that I was to set up shop in the Valley and lead tours around the place to show others that the Valley of Weird isn’t really all that weird when you look at it a bit closer (which has now formed what I call my “house burning” season).

In many ways, what I thought would be a one time event has almost turned into the “bread and butter” of my practice. I almost feel that “weird” has become my hallmark.

pretend the hole is a bus. it’s kinda like that.

 

I will be the first to say that this is likely by design. I have no doubt in my mind that this is part of Set’s planning, part of his “grand plan” about where the larger Kemetic community needs to go. He once called me the “guinea pig” of the community. Well, he didn’t quite word it that way. Instead he told me “I will throw you under the bus, so that others won’t have to be”. That is to say, he purposefully has placed me in certain situations, situations that fall more into the weird or taboo category, so that I can document those situations. Then I can disseminate the information to others, and in so doing, help others feel less alone in their circumstances, and break down the restrictive ideas about what should be considered “normal” in our community.

For those of you who haven’t been in Kemeticism for very long, this may sound a bit strange since many newer Kemetics have stated that our community is really open to new ideas. That’s because what is considered normal now is not what was normal once upon a time. Back when I first came into Kemeticism, you didn’t have a lot of “woo” Kemetics. Astral and Kemeticism didn’t appear to touch. There were no Kemetics that I could find that were discussing things like magix, witchcraft or even heka. It’s as if everything outside of shrine work was considered taboo, and that doesn’t even address the parts of Kemeticism that are still a bit “out there” for some people’s tastes- things like sexual relations with gods, god spousing and other types of non-physical relations that can happen.

Everything that is considered relatively “okay” and “normal” now is only that way because brave people talked about their experiences. The only way that I’ve found to move from “weird” to “normal” seems to be through openness and discussion amongst our peers. But that’s why being thrown into the Valley of Weird is so terrifying. Because in order to actually make things more okay in the wider community, you have to put yourself out there to be judged and possibly ridiculed. And when everyone who is living in the Valley of Weird refuses to talk about their experiences out of fear, newly tossed people have no idea who to turn to or who to ask about their situation. Everyone being closed off creates a bad situation where many people end up being scared, and that serves no one.

This is also why I have worked very hard to push people to challenge their views on what is “normal”. This is why I’ve written about how to break new ground, just in case you fall into the Valley of Weird, and want to try and show people that it’s not such a bad place. But for those of you who have fallen into the Valley of Weird, but don’t want to necessarily write about it- here are my tips for figuring out what to do when you’ve been thrown out over the chasm.

Stay Calm

It is challenging to stay calm when you’ve been thrown off of a cliff into what appears to be nothingness, but I have always found that staying calm is the best place to start in any new or unfamiliar situation. Staying calm allows you to think through things more readily, and it will prevent you from acting out in a panic, which can often take a situation from bad to worse. When in doubt, remember to be still and breathe for a bit.

Objectivity, Documentation, and Discernment

The next step that I usually take is to walk myself through what I am experiencing. I document everything that I can recall- even if it seems far fetched or downright inaccurate. Remember that documentation is there purely to capture what it is you’re seeing, feeling or experiencing. Don’t worry about discerning things when you first write them down. Just get them down on paper, the discernment can come later. It’s better to have notes that you write off later as being mental vomit than to be sitting down half of a year from now trying to remember “what that one symbol that he showed me?” Staying calm will make it easier for you to document what you’re seeing, and documentation can help you to better discern what is going on in your particular situation. Remember that it is common for a single situation to have elements that are accurate as well as elements that are being misinterpreted or misunderstood by your brain. It’s normal and to be expected. And the best way to figure out which is which is by turning it over as many times as you can while you’re going through the process. You may not owe an explanation to anyone else, but I’ve always found that feeling secure in my ability to discern my situations makes me feel better about what I’m doing. And that’s always been important to me- trying to find some shred of sanity amidst my chaos.

Remember You’re Not Alone

Whatever part of the Valley of Weird that you’ve fallen into, remember that you’re not alone. I know it probably feels like you’re alone, but I have yet to hear anyone’s experiences of the Valley that really struck me as being odd or out there. Remember that a lot of people are not talking about their experiences, but that doesn’t mean that people aren’t experiencing them all the same. It can feel alienating, but I promise that you aren’t alone in what you’re going through.

Being thrown over the chasm of normal into the Valley of Weird can be daunting. But it can also be very rewarding once you get to the other side. Although the experiences I’ve had through all of my crack have been way out there, and very trialing at times, at the end of the day, I wouldn’t trade them in for a “normal” practice. There are so many things I’ve experienced that I am grateful for, and my life is better for all of the metaphorical crack that I’ve snorted. While it may not seem like it at first, sometimes finding a small place to set up shop in the Valley of Weird can be one of the best things that ever happened to you. And who knows, once you spend some time there, you may even come to enjoy it.

To read other responses to this topic, check out the KRT Master List

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Souls are like Ceramics

There is a tea set that I use frequently. This set consists of four pieces: a saucer, the cup, a teapot, and a lid. All of these pieces nest together to make a very nice, compact arrangement.

Tea Set

And if you will indulge me, I would like to compare this tea set to a soul.

I know that many of us think that souls are all in one piece, but the truth is that this isn’t really the case. Sometimes your soul line can be in only a few entities, but in many cases, one’s soul is spread out across many many existences, like branches on a tree (see also: Donut Theory). In the case of this tea set, the “soul” would take up four pieces- residing in each of the parts of the set. These pieces work well together and fit well together in order to make a complete setting that can be used for drinking tea.

Of course, each of these pieces could be separate entities- such as bond mates, but sometimes they are “duplicates” of yourself, if you will, which are sometimes called facets by members of the astral community. Soul bits and pieces can be spread apart many different beings, some of which may look like you, and some of which may not. Some of these pieces may work well together and fit well together like the pieces of this tea set. Or sometimes these pieces don’t fit well together at all, and they end up falling over when you open up your cabinet.

via Flickr

So when I got this tea set, it was a whole set that worked well together. Everything fit well together and worked smoothly and everything was great. But one day I was stupid, and I dropped one of the pieces- the lid from the top of the teapot. I remember watching it fall and trying to catch it before it hit the ground, and ultimately failing. The lid shattered into several pieces that flew in different directions across the room.

Souls can do this, too. Souls can be broken, splintered, shattered, and otherwise ripped apart. You can cleave non-physical beings into multiple pieces- both by force and by choice. When a soul is broken apart, its usually not done on purpose (at least in my experience), and just like the shards of ceramic flying across my kitchen floor, so too can soul bits go flying across the universe. These bits can be large or small, they can fly by themselves and land totally separate from everything else, or they can land close together where they are easily gathered back up.

I looked to gather up as much of the broken lid as possible, with the hope that maybe I could glue it back together and make it usable again. But the truth of the matter is, no matter how few pieces a piece of ceramic breaks into- you will always be missing something. There are tiny bits that you’ll never ever be able to get back.

And in this case, some of the pieces went flying under the fridge where they would never be seen again. Some rolled under the stove, and others were just too small to be salvageable. For all I know, the piece under the fridge was picked up by an ant and carted off to be used somewhere else. And soul bits are like that, too. Have a piece that flies off into no man’s land? Good luck getting it back. And if some less-than-savory character happens across that piece where you can’t reach it anymore? Well, that’s how you wake up in the astral with 93858746 years of fuckery to clean up.

Just like with the lid, when a soul breaks, it rarely gets put back together in the same way that it was before the initial fracture. There are ways to “glue” a soul back together. To re-melt it and re-forge it into something new and shiny. But when you do that, it’s rarely the same person, entity, or consciousness that it was before. It would be the equivalent of making an entirely new cup from old materials. The materials of the previous cup may exist within the new cup, but the cup is technically still very different.

Of course, my tea set technically works just as well without the lid (though my teapot may be sad to be missing its companion). I could have decided to scrap the lid entirely, and go from having a four piece tea set to a three piece tea set. You can do that with soul bits, too, technically. You can destroy them, consume them, discard them. But even then, you can only destroy what you have in your hands. That piece that landed under the fridge that the ant got a hold of? I can’t do much about that. Not until I find the shard again. Another possibility is taking the larger pieces of ceramic and using them in another project such as a mosaic. You can also do that with soul pieces. You can meld them together, break them down and reform them with other soul pieces into new souls or beings. You can shove pieces of one soul or entity into another entity (with and without consent, with a variety of outcomes from doing so). There are many options for how you can handle shards.

And of course, I have to decide if I want to move into having a three piece tea set. Sometimes you really really want to salvage whatever you can, even if the “fixed” piece isn’t the same as it was before. Much like with Japanese Kintsugi, sometimes people think that flaws and break lines add character to a person or an item.

tealidIn the case of the lid, I gathered up as much as I could. We worked to glue it back together as best as possible. Of course, there were pieces I couldn’t get. There are now holes in the lid. There are huge chunks missing. The lid works, but it doesn’t really work as well as it did before. You have to be more careful with it. You have to be conscientious of how you handle it. It now has special needs that you have to recognize in order to utilize it. This probably sounds familiar to anyone whose body has broken down on them over the years. Spoonies spend their entire existence catering to the fickle needs of their body.

Souls can get like that, too. The soul can break, it can be thrown across the universe, and you have to go and find as many pieces as you possibly can. Sometimes you’ll think you have them all, but when you glue the thing back together, you realize you’re missing a ton of pieces. You can try to compensate for this with gold or mortar or thicker glue. Or you can just leave the holes there like scars that tell a tale of your past. Sometimes you’ll be living with those holes, and you’ll suddenly stumble across another piece- you know, the one that the ant took. And you’ll take it into you and you’ll feel it click into place. Sometimes you’ll grab a piece up you didn’t even know was missing to begin with, and feel the solidity of having that gap filled.

Other times your “lid” will break and you won’t be able to glue it back together. So instead, you opt to find a new “lid” to replace it, to try and fill the hole that the missing piece has left in your “set”, in your existence. Or you’ll continue on and live with the hole that now exists within you- for better or worse.

In many ways, my work over on the astral has been a lot like fixing this lid. I woke up over there to find that I had holes in my body, holes in my soul line, and holes in my heart. I spent years working to find the pieces to fill these holes. I can’t tell you how many places I’ve been because I finally picked up on a tiny soul shard, and upon finding it, I had to extract my piece out of the situation so that it could be rejoined with the “set”. It has taken years, and my “lid” still isn’t finished. I don’t know if it will ever be entirely whole again (despite the whole “two pieces now made whole” thing). But sometimes that is the best you can do when things go wrong. Much like with my tea set, I have to learn to like the various flaws that now exist within the lid because I wasn’t careful with it. Much like with my body that isn’t ideal, I have to learn to work with the shortcomings that exist in my life. And much like with my soul, there will likely always be reminders of being broken- some of them in the form of holes, some of them in the form of lines of gold.

Because souls are like that. Imperfect. Breakable. And yet strangely durable.

 

 

Tags: , , , ,

Poopocalypse 2k15

It’s funny how things can snowball. One small occurrence leads to another occurrence, which leads to another and another- and next thing you know, things have happened. That’s kinda how the poopocalypse started, really. One person asked about a/pep, and then another and another. And then people came in trying to find a way to worship the thing, and a whole different batch of people came in trying to understand why it’s still around and others raised their hand in confusion because they were absent from school that day and couldn’t fathom why people would even want to worship something that wants you destroyed.

And next thing you know, people are talking about having a big community execration, because fire is fun.

This started out as a one time event. We were torn on what to call it, so we ended up with “Execranuary” and “Poopocalypse 2k15“. I personally prefer the second because it could last the entire year. And that is exactly why I am writing this post right now. I’d love to see us have an entire year of monthly execrations.

I’m sure many of you are wondering why I am so on board with slaying the poop every month. Some of you may think it to be a little excessive, even. But hear me out before you pass judgement either way.

Execration in action. Photo from Tumblr user Rainhappily.

First, I’d like to bring it back to antiquity, and remind everyone that execrations used to be performed daily. Sometimes multiple times during the day, at multiple temples throughout the day. The Egyptians took their execrations seriously, and they were just as persistent with execrations as they were with daily rites for the gods. For the Egyptians, execrations were part and parcel with maintaining ma’at. It was their way of assisting the gods in fighting back the forces of isfet. It was helping the gods keep Creation going.

So as far as I am concerned, there is no such thing as too many execrations. I know that many of us only execrate once or twice a year (usually at Wep Ronpet), but we really could execrate as often as we want. And I recommend that people execrate whenever they feel the need to remove bad stuff from their lives.

The other reason that I am so on board with having a year long execration celebration is because execrations can be used for so many things.

Traditionally, we associate execrations with pushing back and fighting against isfet and a/pep. However, there are a lot of other applications that execrations can be used for. Execrations can be used as a part of self-care and shadow work, or could be used to drive forward societal changes or things of that nature.

Execration, Shadow Work and Self-Care

I don’t care what anyone says. Destruction has a place in self-care. Half the reason most of us need to do more self-care to begin with is because our society teaches us that taking care of ourselves is somehow inherently bad. That alone is a mentality that needs to die, and is worthy of execration in and of itself.

Many of us participate in habits that wear us down and wear us out. Many of us have baggage that we need to be rid of in order to heal and move forward. All of these things are fit for the execration pot.

Now imagine if you were working on making 2015 the year that you actually started to work on self-care. Imagine if you had a reoccurring holiday that gave you an excuse to destroy all of those bad habits every month? Imagine if all of your Kemetic buddies were participating in the same thing, reminding you that these things should go, and that our well being is important?

Kicking out bad habits, negative thoughts, and toxic people are all part of self-care. I believe that recurring monthly execrations can help these changes occur and stick.

Execration and Social Movements

Another thing that seems to be overlooked is that execrations used to be used for controlling the politics of ancient Egypt. The priests who performed these execrations weren’t only trying to destroy isfet, they were also destroying enemies of the state and enemies of the King both “known and unknown”.

I know that this isn’t entirely new news to modern witchcraft users or hekau. We do have tags such as “Witchcraft for Wendy” and “Fighting for Ferguson”, after all. However, I think having monthly execrations where we are able to revisit political situations and social movements would be a good thing. If throwing someone’s name into an execration pot once worked out well, imagine what might happen if you did it every month for a year.

While I’m not saying that everyone has to combine politics/social movements and execrations together, I do believe it could be a useful use of Poopocalypse 2k15. Especially since there have been concerns about how much overlap isfet and horrible politicians have. Of course, it also goes without saying that if you are concerned about pushing for human rights, that you should be doing more than simply execrating. However, I think that execration gives a solid base for everyone to work with.

So I want to participate. What now?

The general premise for Poopocalypse 2k15 is that we will perform execrations on the New Moon of every month. For those of you on Tumblr, I’d recommend tagging any execration activities that you wish to share with the “poopocalypse 2k15″ tag and/or placing it into the usual #Kemetic tag. Obviously, not everyone will be able to participate exactly on the New Moon, and I think that’s fine. I personally will be aiming to execrate once a month, as close to New Moon as I can get.

For those of you over here on WP, if you’d like to share any of your execrations, let me know and I’ll be adding them to this post, and to my own collection that I’ve got going over on Tumblr.

As the months progress, I will be attempting to try out new execration styles to see how they work out. It’s my goal to think of some new ways to punish the poop, especially for those who are low on supplies, or have to execrate on the down low. For resources on how you can execrate, check out the links at the bottom or check out the poopocalypse tag to see how others have performed their execrations.

What do you think about having a year of execrations? Do you think you will be participating?

Relevant Links:

 
9 Comments

Posted by on February 2, 2015 in Devo Magix Series, Kemeticism

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Devo Magix: Spoon Heka

Ever since I learned about Spoon Theory, I have had a thing for spoons. I think this is because it gave me an image to latch on to that represented so much of what I was going through, and in the process, I have collected quite a number of spoons.

spoons1

Most of these spoons sit in a special cup on my personal shrine at home. Because there is no discreet or easy way to carry spoons with me, I am forced to leave my spoons at home in their cup and go on with my day without them. It has always been my hope that I could find spoons that I could hang on a necklace, or put on a key chain or spoons that would be small enough to carry on my person. It just so happens that I finally found some.

My partner found a set of teapot spoons online, and decided to get them for me on a whim. They suit me in a lot of ways- I love tea and the rhinestone on the handle is really up my alley. And the best part about these spoons is that they are small and have a loop in the handle, which can be strung up on a necklace.

My original intent was to get some thin satin cording, however my attempts at finding a color that suited my needs was proving difficult. I could find a ton of rainbow colors, as well as a bunch of really boring, washed out colors. But there wasn’t anything that really worked for me.

In my despair, I meandered around the Micheal’s and tried find something else that would work for my needs. I came across this really nice “yarn” that I felt I could use. And I was in luck because it was on sale, and there were two sets of colors that suited the gods I worked with- the red reminding me of Set, and the blue cording reminded me waaaay too much of the River and Big O. I felt like it was a win-win for me all around.

spoons

So I sat down with all of my supplies and decided what to do with the spoons. Due to the thickness of the cording, I could no longer string beads onto the necklace like I had originally hoped. However, I decided to play off of the netting that existed within this “yarn” and I worked with knots and numbers instead.

cording

For the red cord, I chose to place two knots above the spoon. Two was a number of duality in ancient Egypt, and I have come to associate two with not only creation, but balance. Harkening back to balancing my two halves and making them whole, I can no longer look at the number two and not think about this. The same way that Ptah balances chaos and stability, I balance my work with Set and Osiris, and I balance my internal self with my external life. Balance is incredibly important to me, and so I felt that having two knots suited this need well.

spoons-2

The blue cording was a slightly different story, though. I decided to try and make a more complicated knot for this piece, which is perhaps a reflection on the complicated nature of mine and Osiris’ relationship. I opted to look online for something that would translate well into this thicker “yarn”, and I found this. And so I decided to give it a shot. After I created the more complicated knot, I added two smaller knots to either side of the main piece. The number 4 represented completeness and totality in ancient Egyptian symbolism, and I felt that I could use some completeness and stability in my self-care. This also mirrors Osiris himself, who is known to be the djed pillar- a beacon of stability and endurance.

spoon-CU

Although the necklaces probably look more home made than some people would prefer, I liked the informality of each of these pieces. I also like that I could take the spoons off of the current cording, and switch them out for something else. So if I decided that I wanted to change the focus of the cord, I could either untie them, and redo them in a more suitable format. Or, I could destroy the current cording, and replace it with entirely new cording that suits my needs. Either way, there is a lot of flexibility in what I could do with these pieces, and I like that.

spoons-3

I am super happy that I can finally take a spoon with me to work or to family gatherings or what have you. It feels nice to be able to look down and see the cording, or to rub the spoon between my fingers when I’m stressed and know that I am not alone. And because the cording ties back to my gods, it’s another way to have them in my day to day life in a not-so-obvious way. I can’t wait to be able to take these spoons with me, and see how they influence my ability to cope with day to day life, as well as how many learning opportunities they will provide when someone asks me “Why are you wearing a spoon?”.

Have you ever performed any spoon heka? If so, how did you go about it?

Relevant Posts:

 

Tags: , , , , ,

KRT: Making Sense of Heka

How do you work with heka? How can you utilize heka more in your day to day life? Any tips for people trying to get started in using heka?

I think it can be difficult for people to figure out how to pursue heka as a practice. We know, in a way, about what it is. That it is speech and action brought together to create change. That it is about speaking effectively and implications that speech can have on the physical world around us. And it’s not too difficult to find examples heka from antiquity – Borghouts book has plenty of examples for reference, and if you’re able to get ahold of any source materials (CT, PT, etc) or books that have rituals based off of rituals from antiquity then it’s not too challenging to see how it was done back in the day.

But I think a lot of us struggle with figuring out how to create new heka, or how to bring it into daily life. Heka is such a vast, and yet intangible thing that it can be difficult to figure out how to do more with it.

Usually when I talk about how I create new stuff in regards to magix, I tell people that I pull it out of my ass. And this is largely true. I often make up stuff on the fly, and it’s very difficult for me to explain to people how they can make stuff up on the go, too. However, I think that my methods really boil down to a few questions/steps:

1. What am I trying to accomplish?

This is pretty self explanatory. What exactly do you want to achieve with your heka? What is the end result? Have you considered all of the caveats of what you’re wanting to have happen? When I mention caveats, I mean unforeseen results or pitfalls of working magix a certain way. A good example of this might be “I want to get rid of my coworker” without thinking about the caveat of “what if my coworker is replaced by an even worse coworker?” Figuring out a very specific end goal is, in my opinion, the best place to start when creating new magix or heka.

2. What supplies do I have on hand? What is the most direct method of achieving my goal?

When it comes to my practice, I usually rely on a few standard methods. I may use these methods in different ways for each working that I perform, but at the end of the day, I have a fair amount of standard things that I rely on for my workings. Typically, this will involve sigil work, edible magix, symbolism and heka-laden symbols from antiquity, destruction (such as execrations) and container magix. And then, of course, there is good old fashioned mundane aspects of my heka as well. These kinds of things could include talking with people, cleaning my house, being proactive with figuring out a practical solution to a situation, etc. I prefer to attack any situation from both sides because I feel that using both mundane and metaphysical tactics usually provides a more successful result.

Experimenting with methods until you have a few standard practices that work well for you is useful, in my experience. Knowing how well certain methods work for you can allow you to know where your strengths lie, as well as helping you to get a feel for how different practices and methods can be modified for new heka.

If you’re unsure what to use for methods, take a look at whatever you’re good at. If you’re good at drawing or painting- use that in your heka. If you’re good with sewing, there are many ways to weave magix into a sewing project. If you like to cook, it is very easy to weave heka into recipes. If you examine the stuff that you’re good at doing, you can almost always find a way to use it in heka practices. And when in doubt, take a look at how the Egyptians did things in the past, or how other modern practitioners make use of heka and magix now.

Because heka often utilizes words in order to make things happen, I often like to include statements that are said over an item, or statements that are written down and placed within an item. If you end up using this method, be sure to be careful about the words you use. Be strong in your statements. Us present tense when you write your statements out (“I am” as opposed to “I will be” or “I might be”). Be sure to be specific in the words that you use, and don’t be afraid to repeat things in different ways. The Egyptians often liked to repeat phrases 4 times for efficacy. So I often do as well.

3. Gather the supplies and do the thing.

That’s really all I do whenever I am trying to come up with ideas for heka. I look at what I’ve done in the past, look into what exactly I’m trying to achieve, and then I format something new. I know that the generalized format for this is probably not very helpful, so let’s pull together some examples for heka that might help to round out how I go about making stuff.

Example 1: How can I protect XYZ thing?

This is a pretty common request that I see around the community. Protecting stuff can be done in a wide variety of ways, and I usually rely on a couple of standbys whenever protection is needed.

First, I rely on symbolism that is already inherent in our religious structure. Sa amulets were often used for protection, as were Eyes of Horus/Ra and scarabs. Flipping through a basic Kemetic symbolism book should produce a number of protective symbols to use.

Then I decide how to charge the symbol, and how to affix it to whatever I am protecting. Charging can come in a number of ways- through words of power, incense, oils, or the gods themselves. If you’re wanting to ingest the protection, you could draw the symbol in frosting on a cake, or create it out of whatever on earth you’re eating (such as making an eye of Horus out of peas on your plate- it sounds hokey, but it is sound in theory). You could also draw the symbol on a piece of paper and affix the paper to whatever you’re trying to protect, or you could drop the paper in a cup of water for a few moments, and then drink the water (this was done in antiquity). All of these things would be helpful for protection, and we’ve only scratched the surface for ideas.

Another example that I can cite for protection that came up recently was using crocheting to create something that was protective. Thread work is something that I love to use in my practice, and if you were to charge the yarn that you are using, and then focus your intent through possibly chanting or listening to a song over and over again while you crocheted your protective item (such as a scarf or beanie), you’d end up with something that is fairly potent. You could make this even more potent by placing sigils or anointing your crochet hooks with protective oil, and then placing it in shrine for the gods to bless once it’s all done. Layers, in my experience, are useful for making the heka more potent.

Example 2: What can I use to help improve my health?

This is a wide topic to cover, and there are many specifics involved when it comes to improving or protecting one’s health. So for this example, I will stick with something that is fairly basic, and can hopefully be modified for other purposes. It’s important to understand that when it comes to dealing with health related issues, it’s almost imperative that you use multiple things to get well. Heka and magix alone will not fix it, and in cases that are more severe (such as chronic or terminal illness), you will have to make changes to your life in order to see results. You can’t expect heka to carry all of the weight.

The first thing to figure out is are you improving a particular illness? If so, is the illness a one-time shot, or something that is chronic? If it’s an illness that will run its course and then be gone, I find that practical things are the most important. Being sure to get plenty of rest, eating the foods that are proper for healing, and taking any medications that will help with healing are the most important aspects. You could, of course, utilize heka in your food preparation. You could place sigils on the cup you’re drinking your hot tea out of, or make a statement over your soup that “this will help nourish me and heal me” or things of that nature.

For chronic illness, I often like to create things that I can wear or bring with me wherever I go. Because my illnesses are hidden, I often like to use spoons for symbols for any heka that I work, but you could find other symbols (the imywt fetish comes to mind- as it would be a type of vessel for healing) that speak to you or work better for your own needs. You could create a small bracelet out of multiple strands of ribbon that you wear to help deal with your illness. You’d simply need to come up with a phrase that suits your needs (“I am whole. I am pure. I am healthy.” as an example) and chant that while you braid up the bracelet. And then if you wanted, you could add a charm to it that is also charged with oils, incense, words of power, etc. to help increase the heka. The Egyptians loved to use the number 4 for totality, so you could also add 4 beads to such a bracelet, or tie 4 large knots into it to help add more stability to the heka. And again, you could place this in shrine for the gods to bless, if you wanted.

Another possibility might be charging clothing with heka. Relying on colors or patterns to help bring life to the fabric in the way that a power suit or lucky tie might. You could write things on your hangers that help to charge the clothes, or you could write something onto a piece of fabric (such as “When I wear this, my illness will have no influence or sway over me. When I am in these clothes, I am invincible. My stance is strong and my grip is firm. Everything I see will be in my grasp.”) and then place it into a pocket or inside of the lining of whatever you’re wearing.

Or you could try placing heka onto your pillow, so that your sleep is more restful. You could create a small satchet with comforting scents inside of it, and perhaps a small amulet for protection and rest (I’d probably use a djed, myself). And again, placing a small statement inside that states that you are restful and at ease in bed, that by sleeping on this pillow, you’re going to get the most awesome sleep you’ve ever had, and that you’ll wake up refreshed.

Little things like this can help to bring heka into every aspect of your life. The more of it you can weave into your daily existence, the stronger it becomes.

These are, of course, very simple examples, and I’ve only scratched the surface with the many many ways you can approach them. Hopefully, though, it is a bit clearer to understand how I go about sorting through different methods that could be used to tackle any particular situation you might come up against.

How can I bring heka into my day to day life?

Many people want to know how to bring more heka into their day to day life, and the simplest way to do that is to be mindful of the words you use and the actions you take. Many times, we seem to restrict heka to a more ritualized sense, but the truth is all of our words have impact. Regardless of the context in which they are uttered, signed, or typed. We must always be mindful of the impact that our words can have, and one of the easiest ways to begin to understand this is to pay attention to how your words effect people, and how other people’s words effect you. As you begin to see the cause and effect that occurs with speech (and action as well), it becomes easier to figure out how to use words and actions to create change in your life and you become more effective at utilizing the right words the first time to cause the change that you want. As you learn to see these patterns in your mundane life, it becomes much simpler to figure out how to bring them into a more ritualized or magix setting.

Figuring out heka can take some trial and error, but it’s definitely worth working with. It has a lot of applications in both mundane and metaphysical situations, and being well spoken never goes out of style.

To read other responses to this topic, check out the KRT Master List

Relevant Links:

 
 

Tags: , , , , , ,

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,881 other followers